Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 2011. Universal Pictures, Relativity Media, Apatow Productions. Screenplay by Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo. Cinematography by Robert D. Yeoman. Produced by Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel, Clayton Townsend. Music by Michael Andrews. Production Design by Jefferson Sage. Costume Design by Leesa Evans, Christine Wada. Film Editing by William Kerr, Michael L. Sale. Academy Awards 2011. American Film Institute 2011. Boston Film Critics Awards 2011. Golden Globe Awards 2011. Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2011. Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2011. Washington Film Critics Awards 2011.
Things aren’t going too well for our heroine Kristen Wiig: her bakery has gone out of business, she’s single after her boyfriend dumped her, she doesn’t get along with her roommates and, at the precise moment that she has hit rock bottom and is completely broke, her best friend Maya Rudolph has announced that she’s getting married and wants Wiig to be her maid of honour. Pitting our protagonist up against fellow bridesmaid Rose Byrne, a bitchy socialite who has no end of funds to throw at the wedding with the sole purpose of making Wiig look bad, doesn’t help things much either. This setup has no surprises to offer, it’s basically the same buddy formula that has been popular with the Judd Apatow and/or SNL clan for years: down and out after losing a dream, undergoing ridiculously contrived comedic situations and a budding romance to get themselves back on track, etc. The twist of this hilarious film is that the girls aren’t the patient girlfriends and instead are the ones who get to mess up, screw around and cause the mayhem; the film is not, as you may have heard, redefining comedy just because it’s about women, but Wiig’s ability to make it all seem fresh and so incredibly funny means that the formula is in the right hands. It also has enough moments of genuine pain, particularly in the strain on the main characters’ friendship, to make it feel like it’s about a lot more than just spontaneous diarrhea in a boutique sink. Wiig, who co-wrote the screenplay, is particularly gifted in the lead and pulls off every single one of the film’s comedy set pieces with not even the slightest hint of effort, and she’s backed up by a killer supporting cast of ladies who have their own screwball talents to display. Features the great Jill Clayburgh in her final role.